Some city officials remain concerned that a 45-day advance notice for groups wanting to serve alcohol at special events is too long.
Police Chief Jeffrey Schueter said the 45 days allows time for the city’s building inspector and fire officials to approve a site before the Finance & Personnel Committee makes its recommendation on an application to the full New London Common Council.
It came about after last year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, when a site that had not been inspected in advance was serving drinks, according to Schlueter.
The chief brought the final application form to the finance committee on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
In addition to the 45-day advance, the application is good only for the site described — the temporary license cannot be transferred to another location.
“What do we do when the first one comes in 15 days” in advance, Mayor Gary Henke asked.
Schlueter said organizations that regularly seek the temporary licenses to serve alcohol at special events would be notified of the change.
Henke said 45 days was too long — he expressed the same sentiment during discussion of the application at an earlier meeting.
“We pride ourselves on doing things quickly,” he said. “If we find out we can do these in 15 to 20 days, can we change?”
Yes, Schlueter said.
Committee member Dave Morack said he agreed with Henke that 45 days was too long. He suggested the application procedure be reviewed in one year.
The committee voted unanimously to approve the application. It advanced to the full council for consideration on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The city will share its savings on a new health insurance plan with employees.
The 2014 plan with Network Health of Menasha will save the city nearly $32,900 over 2013 costs, according to finance director Judy Radke.
She proposed that the city pay 75 percent of the employee deductible, which will be $2,000 for single coverage and $4,000 for families.
The city still will save $21,276 over 2013 costs, according to Radke.
Currently, utility and other city workers have different plans. City workers now have a $1,500 or $3,000 deductible, and the city pays 60 percent of that into a Health Savings Account for each participating employee.
Utility workers have had a $2,000/$4,000 deductible, with the city paying 75 percent into an HSA.
Under the new plan, Radke said in a memo to the committee, “it cost less to pay out more to the employees in an HSA contribution and increase the policy deductible than stay with the same deductible and contribution.”
Employees pay 4 percent of the monthly premium, which will be about $20 for single coverage and $56 for families in 2014.
In another insurance matter, the committee approved removing a reference to retiree health insurance coverage from the employee handbook.
At a special council meeting Oct. 22 to consider the new health insurance plan, Radke noted that it would not cover five retired city employees who now have health insurance through the city. The retirees pay the full cost of the insurance; the city does not contribute.
Radke said at that October meeting that the city would help those people find other coverage.
However, three of the retirees are under age 65, and Radke said they found that coverage would cost $1,100 or more a month.
Because of that high cost, she said, those people will be allowed to continue their coverage through the city, at their own expense.
Fire Chief Bart Roloff described a new Mutual Aid Box Alarm System as an organized way of getting as many resources as possible to a fire scene at no added cost.
The mutual aid includes fire departments in Hortonville, Shiocton, Clintonville, Fremont, Weyauwega, Manawa, Dale, Greenville and Black Creek — four counties’ worth of manpower and equipment. It spells out which departments answer what types of calls and who’s in charge.
The mutual aid plan addresses large or rural fires.
Roloff noted that 99 percent of calls in the New London department’s day-to-day operations would continue to be handled by New London.
“What we’re getting for what we’re committing is a pretty good deal,” Roloff said.
The mutual aid system went live on July 1.